Points, Miles & Life

Travel adventures on this earthly pilgrimage

Category: Promos (page 1 of 3)

Points Unlimited: Lucrative Hilton Promotion Q1 2019

Hilton has opened registration for their upcoming Points Unlimited promotion, set to run during the first quarter of next year. Hilton has routinely had decent promotions, but rarely any that really make me go out of my way to stay with them. I typically find that I’m flush with Hilton Honors points from credit card offers. But if you’re looking for some ways to maximize your earning from hotel stays, here are the details of the Hilton promotion Q1 2019:

Earn 2,000 bonus points for every stay and 10,000 bonus points for every 5 stays or 10 nights.

That’s it, folks. It’s pretty much as simple as it sounds. No stays with specific brands, no bonus points only awarded after the second stay. Not much else in the fine print. This Hilton promotion Q1 2019 runs for stays completed January 4 through May 5.

Link to promotion landing page.

As always, Hampton Inn hotels in mainland China are excluded from the promotion. I don’t know why this is. It just seemed to be standard for every promotion that Hilton ever runs. As the name would imply, there is no limit to the number of bonus points you can earn under this promotion.

points unlimited hilton promotion q1 2019

Maximizing this Hilton promotion Q1 2019

The sweet spot for making the most of the Points Unlimited Hilton promotion Q1 2019 is on short stays. This should be obvious already, but I wanted to reiterate that point. For example, assume that you have to spend 5 nights on a business trip. If you can hotel hop each night, breaking the trip into 5 separate stays, you will earn:

  • 2,000 bonus points for each stay, for a total of 10,000 points from 5 separate stays
  • 10,000 bonus points for the 5 stays

This is a total bonus of 4,000 points per night. If you’re earning that on a $100 room rate at a Hampton Inn, you’re looking at a total return of over 7,000 points per night, assuming you hold a Hilton Ascend card from American Express and use that to pay for your stay. Valuing Hilton points at 0.5 cents each, you’re looking at an effective return of over 35%. Pretty sweet to get more than a third of the value of your stay back. I do like the Hilton chain in general, and we’ve had some great stays with them:

Conclusion

While this is by no means the most groundbreaking promotion I’ve ever seen from Hilton, the fact that is uncapped means it could be incredibly lucrative for frequent business travelers. Due to some recent changes on a couple projects, I don’t have much work travel penciled in for the first part of next year. But if in case changes, I will keep the Hilton promotion Q1 2019 on my radar.

Crazy Deal! Get a Southwest Companion Pass after only one purchase!

For a limited time, California residents have access to a phenomenal deal. Southwest has an open offer to all California residents that allows them to earn the amazing Southwest Companion Pass after opening a new Southwest credit card and making a single purchase.

I’ve previously written about Southwest Airlines being my favorite airline  (honestly, this is not really true anymore, but they are pretty amazing). We’ve even leveraged the amazing Southwest cancellation policy for some recent bookings.

Targeted Southwest Companion Pass California offer

Last week there were reports of a targeted credit card offer being sent to *some* CA residents where they could earn a companion pass after only one purchase. The amazing news is that this is now being extended to all residents of California.

Here is the link to the personal Southwest Companion Pass California card offer. The welcome bonus also offers 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

Here is the link to the business Southwest Companion Pass California card offer. The welcome bonus also offers 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

(Neither of these are affiliate links)

Obviously, if you aren’t a resident of California, you won’t qualify for the Companion Pass offer.

Why the Companion Pass is *totally* worth getting

The Southwest Companion Pass is considered by many to be the “holy grail” of domestic (and some international) travel. It essentially gives you a 2 for 1 deal for both paid travel *and* award travel on Southwest airlines. It essentially doubles the value of all your Southwest RapidRewards points.

If you’re a traveling couple, you’ll only pay the points or fare for one person, plus the $5.60 TSA fee for both. If you’re a traveling family, you could fly 4 people for the price of 2 if *both* parents obtain a Southwest Companion Pass through this offer. This would be a mere $44.80 plus points for 2 tickets for a family of 4 round-trip anywhere in the U.S. Southwest flies! Talk about a phenomenal deal!

You can read up on the fine print of the Companion Pass here. But it honestly is as good as it sounds.

Southwest Companion Pass California offer targeted

Qualifying for the Southwest Companion Pass

Typically, you need to either fly 100(!) qualifying Southwest one-way segments in a year, or you need to accrue 110,000 qualifying points. Sound difficult? It certainly is for most people without a way to generate extra spending or without a business with significant expenses to charge. Here is the rundown on qualifying for the pass the traditional way.

The typical back door to getting the Southwest Companion Pass has been opening a new Southwest card and then spending the rest, or opening two Southwest cards in a year to meet, or nearly meet, the qualifying points requirement. The sign-up bonus for the card(s) counts toward the 110,000 point total needed.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in taking even a couple vacations next year, I guarantee that these offers will pay off the card fees required. Don’t pass up this Southwest Companion Pass California card offer!

Header image courtesy of BriYYZ under CC 2.0 license.

Best ever offer for the Hilton Honors Surpass Card!

The best-ever offer is back for the Hilton Honors Surpass card from American Express. We routinely see various increased offers for this card, but the past couple iterations have been especially rich.

The offer

Currently, the card offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. Additionally, you can earn a free weekend night after paying the card fee on your first card anniversary.

The card carries and annual fee of $75. If you factor in the free night on the first anniversary, you’ll essentially be paying $150 for one hotel night and 100,000 Honors points. Not a bad deal.

Assuming that you get $150 out of the free night (but you can likely get more), I estimate the value of the bonus points to be $500 (0.5 cents per Hilton point). You *can* get a lot more out of Hilton points, however (SEE: Travel hacking win: booking last-minute eclipse travel).

If you’re interested in the card, I would appreciate it if you would apply via my referral link. I’ll receive a bonus if you do. 😉

Card details

The Hilton Honors Surpass card isn’t a fantastic one for everyday spending. Due to the low value of Hilton points, even earning 3 points per dollar isn’t all that hot.

However, the card does earn 6 points at grocery stores, which is fairly reasonable. It also earns 12 points per dollar at any of the Hilton hotel brands. What the card is sadly lacking, though, is no foreign transaction fees. This means you get hit with a 3% fee if you use it abroad, even for Hilton stays.

One of the biggest perks of the card is that it grants you Hilton Honors Gold status. This will give you free breakfast at most full service Hilton hotels, room upgrades, and other perks.

This is a great card if you stay at Hilton brand hotels even a handful of times per year!

IHG’s Winter 2017 Promotion: Accelerate (Yes, Again)

In what may become the most reused promotion name in hotel industry history, IHG has yet again released another Accelerate promotion. I am beginning to think that the name “Accelerate” may be here to stay. The current Fall 2016 promotion is just winding down, and the new one picks up January 1, 2017. The couple weeks around the holidays are unfortunately left out in the cold.

Like all the other Accelerate promotions, the offers are “customized” (the best I can tell, it is randomized, or influenced by status) for each member. Shawn over at Miles to Memories reported that his were okay at best.

I was fortunate to get a good one. Mine has the potential to earn 30-31k points from a single night stay and a purchase of 1,000 points. This should cost a total of $100 at most. If I am fortunate enough to have a work stay during the promotion, it could easily cost me as little as $13.50 out of pocket for the points purchase. Pretty sweet. It’s even better than the last couple I have had.

What other offers are out there? Let me know what yours are in the comments.

 

Targeted SPG Promo: Double Elite Qualifying Stays and Nights

Starwood has followed up their summer Triple Up earning promotion with a new promo that allows SPG members to earn double elite credit for both stays and night through November 15. The fall promotion appears to be targeted. For anyone planning some paid travel, this could be very useful for qualifying for SPG Gold or Platinum for 2017, though the future of the SPG program is still unknown for now.

The best way to maximize this promotion would be via either lots of single nights (5 single-night stays will get you SPG gold, even starting from 0 nights), or a couple longer stays at cheap hotels. Good luck finding many in the U.S. The best deals are in places like India and Southeast Asia.

At first glance I thought the promotion would apply to free nights and stays, but the terms and conditions clearly state that this is not the case. You must use a qualifying rate (i.e. paid rate) that earns Starpoints to double count the stays and nights. Sadly, the nights don’t count toward lifetime status.

For me personally, this promotion is not very enticing. I have only one night to go to retain SPG Gold for another year, and the hurdle to attain Platinum is too high. It would take a substantial amount of work travel (with some perfect deals on rates) to even come close. I will likely be sticking to other chains for the rest of the year for any travel plans.

Make sure you register by October 15.

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